This morning in Washington, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a meeting to consider S. 1890, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (“DTSA”). The passage of the DTSA would provide a federal civil cause of action for the theft of trade secrets. Trade secret law currently consists of a mix of federal protection through the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”) and the various state versions of the Uniform Trade Secret Act (“UTSA”). Instead of this patchwork-like scenario, the DTSA would create a uniform standard that individuals and companies could use to protect and fight against violations of their highly valuable trade secrets. Trade secrets violations end up being costly not only to these entities, but also to end consumers. Utilizing a protective measure like the DTSA to defend trade secrets could help curb job and revenue losses, resulting in a net benefit to the American economy.
The DTSA was introduced in the House and Senate on July 29, 2015. Since then, the DTSA has enjoyed bipartisan support, as well as broad support in various industries, such as the manufacturing, biotech, software, and agriculture sectors. After gaining more support, careful drafting and negotiation, the DTSA is now ready for markup, which the Senate Judiciary Committee will be doing today.
Currently, S. 1890 has 26 cosponsors in the Senate: Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Michael Crapo (R-ID), Sen. James Risch (R-ID), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), Sen. Jefferson “Jeff” Sessions (R-AL), Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Alan “Al” Franken (D-MN), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE), Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and the most recent supporters, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The House version of the DTSA, H.R. 3326, currently has 107 cosponsors, including 77 Republicans and 30 Democrats.